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14 May 2014

What is ICLEI Membership?

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In light of the recent move of several cities in Africa to join the ICLEI network, it may be worthwhile to explain what exactly ICLEI membership is, and what it means for a city.

Globally, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is an international association of Local Governments, and it now contains 12 mega-cities, 100 super-cities and urban regions, 450 large cities as well as 450 small and medium-sized cities and towns in 84 countries.

As a democratic organization, each of our local government Members holds a position on the Council. Through the council, our members establish the priorities and direction for ICLEI, by adopting a Strategic Plan. Members also elect 21 representatives to serve on the ICLEI Executive Committee, which oversees the implementation of the Strategic Plan and ICLEI operations.
Here in Africa, the ICLEI Africa Secretariat facilitates ICLEI memberships, with its Head Office in Cape Town, South Africa.

Full Membership in ICLEI is available for subnational governments – such as cities, towns, municipalities and states – as well as for local government associations. As a full member, the local government has the power to direct the policy of the overall organization. Other benefits of Full Membership include participation in ICLEI campaigns and projects, and reduced prices on ICLEI publications. An ICLEI member gets access to a worldwide network of peers, thus benefiting from, and contributing to, the success of others in the global community. Specific benefits of ICLEI membership vary from Member to Member, depending upon their needs and active participation in the Council. Examples can include:

Campaign and Project Participation
ICLEI Members not only have the opportunity to participate in ICLEI’s international campaigns and programs (Local Agenda 21, Cities for Climate Protection, Water Campaign, Sustainability Management, Sustainable Procurement) and international and regional projects but also enjoy the opportunity to play a role in the design and pilot phases of these campaigns and projects.

Publications, Tools, and Workshops-Free of Cost or Greatly Discounted
ICLEI produces diverse publications and tools to help Members with their work. ICLEI publications are free to ICLEI Members. ICLEI Members also have exclusive access, at no cost, to all ICLEI publications electronically via the Members-only area of ICLEI’s website.

National and International Network of Peers
ICLEI members are part of a worldwide network of local government representatives that are tackling similar environmental management and sustainability challenges. They meet at workshops, seminars, and conferences around the world, and through electronic conferences on the website.

National and International Recognition for Work
Full Members earn national and international recognition for their work at both ICLEI conferences and through participation with ICLEI in numerous UN events (Conference of Parties [COP], Commission on Sustainable Development, etc)

Travel Funding to International Meetings
Funded international travel is provided to ICLEI Members as it is available. For example, in November 2003, ICLEI with the support and partnership of the Coalition of 21 Municipalities, Greece, held the World Congress of Local Governments and ICLEI Council meeting in Athens, Greece. ICLEI Member cities who met certain criteria, received full travel funding for this event.

Grant Opportunities
ICLEI is often made aware of funding opportunities and seeks to direct funders to Members, and Members to funders, where there is a match.

Membership rates are based upon the population of the local government and its gross national income. The payment of dues is made on an annual basis.ICLEI can offer your local government, state or local government Full Membership in the ICLEI Council, with powers to govern the organization internationally. Local government organisations in Sub-Saharan African countries are encouraged to join the growing African membership total of 76 Members, with a significant growth in numbers envisaged for the coming years.
For more information, please browse the rest of this website or contact the ICLEI Africa Secretariat by email:

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